Saturday, April 20, 2013
A look at B1G's new divisions
By Vince Verhei
Sources have told ESPN's Brett McMurphy and Adam Rittenberg that starting with the 2014 season, the Big Ten Conference will be dumping its Leaders and Legends division format and moving to a geography-based alignment plan.
The Big Ten will replace Legends and Leaders with East and West when Maryland and Rutgers join the league in 2014. The proposed Big Ten West includes the six teams located in the Central time zone -- Illinois, Iowa,Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern and Wisconsin -- plus Purdue, sources said.
Is there a talent disparity between the two divisions? Teams that will be in the West averaged 6.6 wins apiece in 2012, but the teams headed for the East were nearly a full win better (7.4), a number that could have been higher if Ohio State and Penn State had been bowl-eligible. On the other hand, Maryland and Rutgers won their 13 games in the ACC and Big East, respectively, and it remains to be seen how they'll fare in the Big Ten.